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Foreign Language Study

More than a Minor

In order to increase students' abilities to operate effectively across cultures, students in the international business major are required to take upper-level classes in a foreign language. Through these studies, most students also complete a minor in their chosen language. The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at USC offers Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Students develop business competence in the language as well as a deeper appreciation for the views and values of a foreign culture. 

Career Benefits

Proficiency or fluency in a foreign language multiplies the opportunities and networks available to any professional, and increases their value to a multinational or international firm. An individual who has a high level of proficiency in a foreign language will be able to understand the hidden meanings and cultural cues that so easily get lost in translation. Therefore, a professional who is able to communicate to various parties in more than one language will have a greater capacity to build and manage meaningful and responsible relationships across borders and among differing cultural groups. 

Cognitive Benefits

Researchers have examined the various advantages of learning a second language. Their findings suggest that second language acquisition increases brain function; “It requires keeping track of changes around you in the same way that we monitor our surroundings when driving,” says Albert Costa, a researcher at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain. Thus, students develop the capacity to more effectively monitor changes in the foreign context and process their implications. The full article can be found here

Further Discovery

For further description of the foreign languages available to IB majors click the button below.